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Purple Series: Joe Flacco Baby Talk

Posted Aug 17, 2012

The Ravens quarterback said being a father puts everything in perspective.

A little more than two months after becoming a father, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is still amazed.

He had a front-row seat in the delivery room on June 14, the day 8-pound baby Stephen was born.

And he’ll probably never be the same man (or quarterback) again.

“It was unbelievable, a miracle” Flacco said. “The doctors and nurses who see that pretty much every day were still amazed by it. That just tells you how crazy it is.

“My life is completely different.”

Flacco has a new confidence, a calmness that his coaches and teammates have taken notice of this summer. Some believe it’s because he’s now a dad.

“I know for me stepping into fatherhood kind of put me in my place. That’s what I see with him,” safety Bernard Pollard said.

“It puts everything in perspective. It gets real when that little joker comes out, when you’re like, ‘I’ve got to provide for my child and my family and nobody comes into this.’”

Running back Ray Rice has noticed a more vocal Flacco, which he attributed to him stepping into the disciplinary head of the household.

“You don’t want to be a soft-spoken dad,” Rice joked. “You’ve got to let the child know who’s the boss right away.”

Flacco still views himself the same way.

After all, wife Dana has taken on the brunt of the work. As of the start of training camp, Flacco hadn’t yet changed a diaper. His special move is taking Stephen out to the car to get him to go to sleep.

But Flacco does view Dana in a new light.

“I could see an instant transformation from being my wife to being a mom,” Flacco said. “It was right away. There’s definitely a special bond between she and him and I just step back. It’s cool to watch.”

A column in The Baltimore Sun questioned whether Flacco would be a worse quarterback now that he’s a father. Would he be distracted? Would those early mornings affect him?

“Football has always been the No. 1 thing. Now Stephen is No. 1,” Flacco said.

“Having said that, it’s not going to hurt me. In some ways, it puts things in perspective and allows me to just go out there and play football. At the end of the day I’m still coming home to these guys.”

Dana brought Stephen into the team’s facility the day before the team took off for its first preseason game last Thursday. Flacco wanted to show him off.

Countless coaches and players came to coo at Stephen. Safety Ed Reed stood outside the team cafeteria for more than a minute, smiling and waving through the glass.

Flacco just beamed the whole time. He’s one proud papa.

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